[UPDATE] River Still Hasn’t Dropped Enough to Locate Vehicle That Was Swallowed Last Friday

The unknown vehicle and occupants swallowed by the rising water of the Eel River near Confusion Hill last Friday has not yet been located, according to Officer Jason Taylor of the California Highway Patrol in Garberville.

“We had people look this morning and they didn’t see anything,” he explained. “I don’t think the river has gone down enough to see it. Where it went off, the river is pretty deep there.” He also said that a CHP helicopter had looked yesterday for the vehicle.

Taylor explained that a couple of parts had been located from the missing vehicle. Emergency personnel, he said, “could see the oil coming up from where the vehicle went into the water.”

The person who saw the vehicle go into the river “reported that they saw a car pulling over,” he explained. “[The driver] went too far over. They tried to stop but they didn’t stop in enough time.”

flooding Eel River north of Leggett

Water continued to rise where the vehicle was last seen upside down in the Eel River. [Photo provided by Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue]

When emergency personnel arrived at the scene, the river was rising and that hampered recovery efforts. He explained, “In a matter of hours, the vehicle was probably five to six feet deeper. We don’t know a 100% if it is still in the same position.”

When asked if this was a similar incident to that of the Hart family which plunged off the Mendocino Coast into the ocean only about 25 miles away, Officer Taylor said, “From everything I read, [Jen Hart] stopped approximately 70 feet from the cliff and then started up again…[The accident by Confusion Hill] is a totally different situation. This is an accident of misjudging the distance or something like that.”

UPDATE: Witness Tells of Vehicle Tipping Onto Two Wheels and Tumbling Over the Bank Into the Eel River Near Confusion Hill North of Leggett; Searchers Scour the River Tuesday

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